second least surprising revelation of the day
Time: 9-11 Commission Funding Woes; Questions arise concerning the administration's funding of the congressional investigation into the September 11th attacks
Sources tell TIME that the White House brushed off a request quietly made last week by the 9-11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, to boost his budget by $11 million. Kean had sought the funding as part of the $75 billion supplemental spending bill that the president just requested to pay for war with Iraq. Bush's recent move has miffed some members of the 9-11 panel.
...The request has been endorsed by the entire bipartisan commission at a recent meeting. In denying the request, the White House irritated many of the members of the commission. "This is very counterproductive if the White House's intention is to prevent the commission from being politicized, because it will look like they have something to hide," said a Republican member of the commission.
...The latest effort to curtail funding has angered victims of the attacks. Stephen Push, a leader of the 9/11 victims' families, who are closely monitoring the commission, said the White House decision was another in a long line of efforts to water down or shrink the panel's role. "I think the fact that they didn't include it—didn't warn Gov. Kean that they weren't going to include it, didn't return my phone call—suggests to me that they see this as a convenient way for allowing the commission to fail," said Push. "They've never wanted the commission and I feel the White House has always been looking for a way to kill it without having their finger on the murder weapon." Push said the White House has ignored his phone calls and emails for weeks.
It's looking more and more like Bush is trying to hide something here. I've never bought into conspiracy theories that he "allowed" 9/11 to happen out of some Machiavellian scheme; no, Occam's Razor suggests good old-fashioned incompetence. It always struikes me as ironic every time Bush says something to the effect that he won't let another 9/11 happen, that no one calls him on the fact that he failed to prevent it the first time.
(via Oliver Willis)